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CRIME

Pensioner pulls gun in slot machine queue row

A short-fused pensioner in northern Italy has been arrested after he allegedly stormed into a bar brandishing a .357 magnum handgun following a row over the queue for the slot machines.

Pensioner pulls gun in slot machine queue row
A 357 magnum revolver: Shutterstock

The 73-year-old had reportedly had an argument on Saturday with customers at the bar in the town of Cilavegna, Pavia, over the queue to the slot machines, La Repubblica reported on Monday.

Apparently unable to resolve the dispute, the pensioner turned up at the bar the following day with a lust for vengeance and a Smith & Wesson 357 magnum gun, a knuckle-duster and a flick-knife.

Police were called to the scene where they arrested the man, who has a clean record. No injuries were reported.

But, as police discovered, the shotgun was just the tip of the iceberg. When they inspected the man's home they uncovered an "arsenal" of weapons. 

The pensioner's collection included a Stahl shotgun, a Franchi Para rifle, a Beretta semi-automatic shotgun, a silencer and around a hundred bullets.

Two more guns found at the man's home, including a Beretta shotgun and a Breda rifle, had been registered.

Police also found two bayonets, a sabre, two machetes and even a samurai sword. The weapons have now been seized.  

They also found four metal plates, two belonging to the Carabinieri, one from the fire department and another to the police. 

In March The Local reported that a woman, believed to be in her seventies, robbed a bank near Florence with a toy gun.

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ROME

‘Bank robber’ rescued in Rome after tunnel collapses

Four people were arrested in Rome after a suspected would-be bank robber was rescued from a tunnel under a road, police said on Friday.

'Bank robber' rescued in Rome after tunnel collapses

An Italian man had to be rescued after becoming trapped in a collapsed tunnel near the Vatican, suspected of being part of a gang burrowing its way to a nearby bank.

Firefighters spent eight hours digging him out from under a road in the west of Rome, before he was finally freed on Thursday evening and taken to hospital.

“Two people from Naples were arrested for resisting a public official and two, from Rome, for damage” to public property, a police spokesman told AFP.

The rescued man, one of the two Romans, remains in hospital, he said without giving an update on his condition.

“We are still investigating, we do not exclude that they are thieves, it is one of the theories,” he said.

For Italian newspapers, however, the motive was clear, with reports noting the tunnel was found near a bank ahead of the August 15th long weekend, when residents traditionally head out of town and much of Rome is left empty.

“The hole gang,” headlined newspapers Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, while La Stampa said: “They dig a tunnel to rob a bank, and one of them is buried underground.”

Other reports referred to the suspected burglar as l’uomo-talpa, or ‘mole man’.

An AFP reporter at the scene on Thursday saw the man brought out alive on a stretcher, after a day-long operation involving dozens of emergency service workers using mechanical diggers.

The tunnel began underneath an empty shop that had recently been rented.

“We all thought that the people there were renovating the place. So we had no suspicions and we did not hear noises either,” a resident, Michele, who lives in the same building told AFP.

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